Women hams ride the radio wave in India

Fascinating story on Scroll.in about amateur radio in India, including some references as well to the peculiar culture of gender that has evolved since the earliest days:

 

The term YL, or young lady, meaning an unmarried woman of any age, was coined in 1920 as a concession to the growing number of female hams. In time, when women married, they became known as XYLs, or ex-young ladies. After women operators in 1940 took umbrage to the second term, it became convention to call any licensed female ham, regardless of marital status, YL. Unlicensed wives of operators are XYLs. Men, regardless of marital status, are OM or old man.

Prasad is something of a trailblazer in the world of hams in India, with more awards and felicitations than she can list.

She became a ham in 1980, when there were perhaps only 50 YLs in India. She was a science student, but not familiar with electronics. Nor did she know English at the time, having studied in her first language, Telugu, until then. When she expressed interest in joining up, she faced stiff opposition from her community.

“Because my family are Brahmins, the Brahmins said, ‘No, no, you should not talk to gents. When you go on the radio, you will talk to gents only, no ladies’,” said Prasad. “But my brother-in-law supported me and said that if I become a ham, as a YL, I would be very popular. So I said okay.”

Prasad worked overtime to pick up the skills she needed. Today, she is among the most prominent hams in the country. Her call sign, or unique identifier with which she introduces herself while operating her radio, is VU2RBI.

Do check out the whole article!

Listen to the Sound of My Voice

Sounding Out!

Betrayal

I first realized there was a problem with my voice on the first day of tenth grade English class. The teacher, Mrs. C, had a formidable reputation of strictness and high standards. She had us sit in alphabetical order row after row, and then insisted on calling roll aloud while she sat at her desk. Each name emerged as both a command and a threat in her firm voice.

“Kelly Barfield?”

“Here,” I mumbled quietly. I was a Honor Roll student with consistent good grades, all A’s and one B on each report card, yet I was shy and softspoken in classes. This was an excellent way to make teachers amiable but largely go unnoticed. The softness of my voice made me less visible and less recognizable.

Mrs. C repeated my name. Caught off guard, I repeated “here” a little more loudly. She rose to her feet to…

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Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism 2016: WHITE NOISE

Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism 2016

Deadline July 8th, 2016

WHITE NOISE

A research event at

London College of Communication,
University of the Arts London

November 11th – 12th 2016

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTION Deadline July 8th, 2016

We are delighted to announce a call for the 3rd Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism research event to take place in London on November 11th and 12th 2016.

Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism is a bi-annual research event initially established in 2012 as a network for researchers, artists and performers working within intersectional fields of sound, gender, feminism and activism. SGFA::2012 delivered presentations and audio-visual artworks from thirty-six researchers, artists and performers from the UK, Europe, United States and Australia. SGFA::2014 incorporated performances, lectures, workshops and presentations from over thirty global participants. A publication that celebrates the presentations and participants from the previous two events will be launched at SGFA::2016.

SGFA::2016 seeks to query an expanded concept of White Noise. Working out from white noise’s original sonic conception of a random frequency, broad-based signal that masks everything else, white noise is all around us. White Noise is what Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman has termed a “sonic protocol” an often unquestioned norm based upon “culturally specific and socially constructed conventions that shape how sound is made, used and interpreted at a given moment”.

SGFA::2016 invites submissions for both twenty and ten minute contributions relating to the question;

How does whiteness, transmitted as an often sub-audible yet ubiquitous frequency, establish and maintain perceptual limits of what and who can be heard and how can this be changed?

How can we “confront and broadcast the underlying whiteness of the field and of the generic terms that provide so much currency in it: terms like “the listener,” “the body,” “the ear” and so on” (Stadler 2015) in ways that do not replicate racism, colonialism and gender violence but rather enable the audible transmission of alternative histories, forms, relations and ways of being.

SGFA::2016 will expand upon the previous research events through a combination of presentation formats over the course of two days; both twenty minute formal research papers and ten minute emerging researcher/artist presentations for the sharing of recent or ongoing work are sought.
This is an open call and we welcome responses from all relevant disciplines and will accept a variety of formats from academic presentations, proposals for artworks and documentation of artworks to more experimental contributions.

Please send expressions of interest, including the theme, topic and format of your presentation of around 200 words and a short biography of no more than 200 words by Friday 8th July, 2016 to SGFA2016.

Kindly supported by http://www.crisap.org

Cathy Lane
http://cathylane.co.uk

CFP: Feminism and Sound, Due 22nd July 2016

FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES
Commentary and Criticism Call for Papers
16.6 Feminism and Sound
Feminist analysis of media is a field that has arguably been dominated by the visual. From selfies to music videos to films, feminist media scholars have done important work to unpack the way representations of gender look. But how does gender sound in contemporary media? How are femininity, masculinity, and other expressions of gender represented sonically across media platforms? Podcasts, Instagrams, Vines, streaming music, and traditional formats such as radio, television, and film, all present a rich ground for the study of sound from a feminist perspective. This issue of Commentary and Criticism invites essay contributions specifically on feminist approaches to sound in relation to a range of media. We are particularly interested in submissions from beyond North America and the UK. Possible paper topics include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
  • Gendered soundscapes
  • Gender and speech
  • Gender and sound art
  • Feminist approaches to sound design in screen cultures
  • Women’s production of sound media
  • Feminist radio studies
  • Feminist readings of podcasts
  • Sonic performances of gender in popular music
The Commentary and Criticism section of Feminist Media Studies aims to publish brief (~1000 words), timely responses to current issues in feminist media culture, for an international readership. Submissions may pose a provocation, describe work in progress, or propose areas for future study. We will also consider book and event reviews, as well as contributions that depart from traditional academic formats. We encourage all submissions to strategically mobilize critique to also offer a productive contribution to both feminist politics and media studies. Submissions must go beyond mere description in order to be considered for publication in Commentary and Criticism.
Please submit contributions by 22nd July 2016, via email to guest editor, Philippa Lovatt (Philippa.Lovatt@stir.ac.uk) as well as standing editors, Susan Berridge (Susan.Berridge@stir.ac.uk) and Laura Portwood-Stacer (lportwoodstacer@gmail.com).
Questions and expressions of interest can also be addressed to Drs. Lovatt, Berridge and Portwood-Stacer in advance of the deadline.
Email submissions directly to Philippa Lovatt, Susan Berridge and Laura Portwood-Stacer, as submissions for Commentary and Criticism will not be correctly processed if submitted through the main Feminist Media Studies site.
Please be sure to follow the Feminist Media Studies style guide, which can be found at the following link: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1468-0777&linktype=44
===== General list info and FAQ: http://comm.umn.edu/~grodman/cultstud.html

Women’s International News Service turns 30

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television has a new post commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS), and telling some of the story of its creation.

 

Check it out here.

The pioneering women of the BBC’s early years

A new article by Kate Murphy on pioneer has just been published in the BBC news magazine, outlining the position of women at the BBC.  Paid maternity leave, no marriage bar (until 1932) and thus – not surprisingly – a wide range of highly educated, pioneering broadcasters.  Also splendid photographs showing women engaged at all levels of production.  Check it out.

WOMEN IN SOUND / WOMEN ON SOUND :WISWOS 2016: 22 April, Lancaster: Educating Girls in Sound

The group Women in Sound/Women on Sound is hosting its annual forum  on 22 April, Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts.

Educating Girls in Sound

Submission deadline February 8th, notification of selection February 15th.

WISWOS 2016 will take place at the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts. This years WISWOS event will focus on education. The previous very successful event at Lancaster in 2015 exhibited the excellent and varied work being done by women in many areas of sound, but also made clear their lack of visibility to the young. Despite the long and effective history of women working in and on sound, the numbers involved have not risen. What impact does the current education system have on young girls to deter them from moving into the fields of science, technology, the arts and engineering with sound? How can it be improved?

Key questions we wish to explore in the Forum are:

What happens in the music/sound tech classroom?
At what point do we see the drop from equal interest to little interest?
What initiatives already exist that do encourage girls to engage?
What can we do, and should we do it or not?

 

Full details here.